Scuba Diving Beneath Hagia Sophia

A picture I took of a cat inside the Hagia Sophia.

A picture I took of a cat inside the Hagia Sophia.

At BLDGBLOG, an alluring post about the liquid underbelly of a historic building.

While scuba diving beneath Hagia Sophia, an exploratory team led by filmmaker Goksel Gülensoy has “managed to reach areas that until now, no one had ever managed to reach,” down there in the flooded basins 1000 feet beneath Istanbul’s ancient religious structure. In the process, they have discovered 800-year old submerged graves containing the remains of “canonized children.”

This was part of a larger, underwater archaeo-spatial survey:

      The divers and specialists explored the connection of the basins underneath Aghia Sophia with the aqueduct and the palace of Top Kapi. In addition they attempted to locate the secret tunnels from

Tekfour Palace

    to the Islands.

Those “secret tunnels” are presumably the rumored subterranean extensions of the Anemas Dungeons – but who knows.

Either way, I have long been fascinated by the idea of scuba diving beneath – if not actually through – architectural structures, so I am definitely looking forward to watching Gülensoy’s forthcoming documentary about these discoveries. That film, appropriately enough entitled In the Depths of Hagia Sophia, will begin screening at film festivals this autumn.

BLDGBLOG: Scuba Diving Beneath Hagia Sophia.

Nathan Schneider is an editor of Killing the Buddha and writes about religion, reason, and violence for a variety of publications. He is also a founding editor of Waging Nonviolence. His first two books, published by University of California Press in 2013, are God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet and Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse. Visit his website at The Row Boat.